Richmond Vale

We are happy to welcome you to join one of our programs throughout the year.

front1 We practice an eco-friendly way of life including growing a big part of our food organically
Dear Friend and future participant, We are happy to welcome you to join one of our programs throughout the year. Richmond Vale Academy is a small non profit in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Most of the teachers have been in St. Vincent for many years and most have been trained in Africa at rural area projects in Zambia, Mozambique, South African ...
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Richmond Vale

A big Happy New Year from Richmond Vale Academy!

happy-new-year-richmondvale A big Happy New Year from Richmond Vale Academy!
The year of 2018 has been extra ordinary in so many ways.  I would like to thank all of you who are reading our blogs and news as you are in one way or another - part of making this world a better place. The past year was a breakthrough in so many ways from new classrooms, home gardens, and program developments, fundraising and improving the o...
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Camille Bru

Back in Paradise

let-the-sun-facebook Sun set at Richmond Vale Academy
At the end of my 6 months program, I decided to come back to RVA as a teacher for the November team. But why this decision and what does it mean to be a teacher in another kind of school? Going home/ traveling for 2 months before coming back to RVA has given me time to reflect on my ambitions, my visions for the future and the way I want to live my...
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Richmond Vale

Art for social transformation

frontimage Painting a mural in the local Petit Bordel School in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
Art is a tool that allows us to communicate and express different opinions. During the month of April 2018, our intention was to inspire and strengthen the relation between people and nature. This is what we hoped to achieve while painting a mural in the local Petit Bordel School in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. At the same time, we carried out...
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Richmond Vale

Julian: Embrace this unique learning experienceThe chicken project

IMG_20180122_075109 We hope they will take good care of our chicken project and see the fruit trees grow and blossom
The 6 months program is unique in many ways. It provides the students with a practical understanding of topics surrounding sustainable agriculture and climate change adaptation. For most of the students, including me, many of these topics would have maybe always remained theoretical concepts. The program is structured in several "periods", each of ...
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Richmond Vale

Morning class: Crossing Crisis- Relations between US and Latin America

morning-classe_20180906-173059_1 Morning Class at Richmond Vale Academy
Every Monday and Friday we have what we call morning class. Everyone, teacher, student, guest speaker, is welcome to prepare a presentation about any topic that is of interest to them and share their passion about it. This morning a guest speaker that we love inviting for his passionating talks, came to tell us more about the relationship between U...
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Richmond Vale

Learn to Dive

jesper-diving-instructor-richmondvale-diving-center Jesper is a diving instructor at Richmond Vale Diving Center
When you join a program at Richmond Vale Academy it is possible to become a certified Diver. We started to engage in protection and conservation efforts in 2015 by investing in a Diving Center.  Shortly after we a trained instructor and the second instructor is in the process to being certified. We started to learn about the importance of mari...
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Richmond Vale

Building weekend in the mountain

Building Weekend at Richmond Vale
Our Permaculture Teacher, Luke, and his family, own land in the province of Vermont in Saint Vincent. This piece of land is located in the mountain, when you reach the end of the paved road you still need to drive for a couple kilometers on a very bumpy rocky muddy road. At the end of the path, there is a small shed with a covered deck, full of too...
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Richmond Vale

When we make an agreement, we owe it to ourselves to act on that

richmondvale-frames-owe-it-to-ourself
As part of joining Richmond Vale Academy (RVA) every student agrees to what we call 'The Frames'. This is the policy in which we agree to have no drugs and no alcohol as part of what we do here at the school. There are several reason for this from simple things such as reducing work ethic to having negative impact on the community.  For me one...
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Richmond Vale

Belair Government School Visiting RVA

Today, 6th-grade students from Belair Government school came all the way to Richmond to visit our Campus! It is always a little adventure and a great learning experience for everyone, for the school as much as for us here at RVA! Heather gave a presentation about living at RVA, our programs, the home-garden projects and of course about climate change. After a quick lunch with a view of the volcano and St Lucia, we divided into smaller groups and all the students from the Climate compliance March team and Fighting with the poor team became tour guides for the day! In another Kind of School we want to live a sustainable life, so we try to be pioneers and to build example projects. Showing our sustainability projects to 10-12 year olds taught us RVA students how to keep things simple and exciting!  We showed them our solar panels, the biogas station, the new Permaculture Kitchen Garden, our Chicken Hotel, the Water collection system, Our Organic Gaden, the Compost system, the Fruit Forest, the Pigs, and even a little visit to the Horses! Seeing how enthusiastic and excited the students were about the visit made us very happy :) We love showing our other kind of school to many interested kids and to inspire them to change the World! Such a positive feedback made us smile: "This is a little...
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Richmond Vale

Discovering the best of myself!

Discovering the best of myself!
Richmond Vale Academy is "Another Kind of School" where adults gather to become enlightened and inspired, gain knowledge and become ready for action. Our school operate as a base for personal enlightenment, for general and specific knowledge such as organic farming, global warming, climate change and as inspiration to take action and march into the Open Future. Participants join for 1, 6 or 18 months and all are involved with The St. Vincent Climate Compliance Conference 2012 - 2021. The Idea of The 10 year standing action conference is that teachers, students and the people of St. Vincent make our island more Climate Compliant. Climate Compliant means to be ready for climate change and become food, water and energy secure. Now this certainly is a challenge! With the first team in 2012, we started studying about global warming and climate change and realized the size of one of the big issues the world has ever faced. Programs in Another Kind of School combine studies, research and actions in different periods and Three hundred students from fifty different countries already joined the program. By now thousands of trees have been planted, tons of trash removed from beaches and streets, biogas introduced in family homes and right now we're in the middle of setting up 200 sustainable home gardens. By the end of 2018 the first 30 home...
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Richmond Vale

A warm welcome

A warm welcome
So....I don´t know where to start, so much has happened, so I will probably best start by introducing myself: I am Tessa, 19 years old, from Germany and -yes, hard to believe when looking out of the window and seeing the blue ocean –  am currently at the Richmond Vale Academy on St. Vincent!   Richmond beach Another great thing I noticed first was that Stina and the other teachers are really passionate about the projects and making SVG climate compliant. I am really looking forward to working with these people and my team and I am sure I will learn so much in those 6 months – not only about environmental protection and organic gardening in our daily classes but also about living in and growing as a community. 
Of course you may think “It can´be perfect paradise, right?” and it isn´t, there are and will be daily challenges like no electricity or Wifi but we always try to find a solution or work around it. I don't think “perfect paradise” exists and that there will be always problems to work on but in the process of finding solutions to challenges make humans grow. 
So far I have the feeling that exciting but at the same time challenging 6 months lay ahead of me. By Tessa, November Climate Compliance Team
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Richmond Vale

Mi experiencia en RVA (Spanish & English Version) by Nelson Ramirez

Hola a todos! Acabo de iniciar mi experiencia en el programa impartido por RVA llamado “ Luchando contra la pobreza ”. Es mi tercer día en el centro de estudios y estoy gratamente sorprendido en varios aspectos:   1. La belleza natural que rodea la escuela es impresionante, estamos cerca de ríos, cascadas y del mar.  Al atardecer en la puesta del sol, se puede apreciar paisajes de una belleza única.                       2. Los temas que están propuestos en el programa son súper interesantes, muy actuales y el material de apoyo es muy completo. Este material de apoyo ha sido en su mayoría elaborado por los estudiantes y profesores de la escuela.   3. La diversidad cultural que se encuentra en la escuela hace muy enriquecedora esta experiencia (en el centro de estudios se encuentran más de 15 nacionalidades), adicionalmente la posibilidad de comunicarnos en el inglés como idioma común para todos hace que esta experiencia sea apropiada para aquellas personas que desean mejorar sus habilidades en el manejo del idioma inglés. Nelson Ramirez – Colombia English version   Hello everybody I am Nelson from Colombia, this week started my experience as a part of the team called “ Fighting with the poor ”. It is my third day at Richmond Vale Academy and really surprised for...
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Richmond Vale

Experiencing a thoughtful life at RVA by Vanessa

Experiencing a thoughtful life at RVA by Vanessa
Since the very first moment I got to RVA I could breathe coherence and peace. I use to live in a society (and still do) where talking about how things should become is a pleasurable hobby that does not have anything to do with results, but with critiques. Ultimately critiques to myself. I use to live in a society that kills my hopes of dreaming a better world possible. I use to live in a society where consumerism and toxic hobbies keep me paralyzed from doing things and thus faraway from my principles and true-self. I don't know if this is something you can relate with, but that was definitely the way I felt. I still do sometimes, so let’s do something about it. I often find myself submerged in a bench of excuses that prevent me from going where I truly want to be. “I have no money, no knowledge, I'm not capable, nothing will change”. Thus a thousand of related ones that talk about nothing but lack of will. Sometimes I even question myself. Is it the way I think, really theway I believe in, or just a beautiful utopia in which I have no hopes about? And if so… why not to be eager to break free from my chains? Whatever they are… So… what could be wrong in keeping the mind open...
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Richmond Vale

Terraced gardens

Terraced gardens
One of our farmer friends, Pat, invited us to his farm so we could check out his terrace farming. It was interesting to see how all of the land available was being used to produce vegetables or some type of crops while also preventing soil erosion. Terracing is basically grading steep land, such as a hillside, into sections of levels. Terrace farming has been used for thousands of years and is a really effective farming method. For example, in Peru terrace farms are built to use the shallow soil efficiently and to enable irrigation of crops. The Incas used a system of canals and aqueducts to direct the water through the levels and increase the fertility. Many people prefer having a vegetable garden on a flat area and making most use of the land that way. However, for many people that is not always the case. An example is St. Vincent, where there are too many mountains to count and it can be very steep. For this reason, many people have to grow their vegetables on the hillside. Remember, there are different degrees of slopes. This will have an effect on the irrigation. It is always best to plant the vegetables across the slope using contour rows, terraces, or raised beds. To build up the terraces you can use old wood, bricks or stones, as well...
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Richmond Vale

Leadership and Mother Courage

Leadership and Mother Courage
Dear Reader , In the coming weeks we will share appetizers from the fascinating studies in the 18 months Fighting Shoulder to Shoulder Program. The 18 months teams have been running at the Academy since 2012 and more than 50 people have joined. Today's study piece is from the section of Leadership , specifically the task "Leading and managing the project". Enjoy! Kind regards Stina Herberg Director Richmond Vale Academy Leadership [caption id="attachment_9297" align="aligncenter" width="400"] The director exercising her leadership skills Good leadership is a straightforward thing. Bad leadership is probably easier to accomplish, especially when you have some power, meaning the means to punish people, when they do not obey orders. Bossing people around may look like efficient leadership , but does not accomplish anything in the long run, only a growing resistance and opposition towards the so-called leadership. Good and bad leadership A clever Chinese, I guess it was Mao Tse-Tsung, once made a telling picture of good and bad leadership , which is here passed on from memory; the good leader does not walk far ahead of the people showing himself off as somebody special you should admire and telling everybody unrealistically how to behave and act. On the other hand, he does not walk behind the people shouting and gesticulating with his arms either. This is not leadership at all, it is...
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Richmond Vale

A diary of a week and a half at Richmond Vale academy

A diary of a week and a half at Richmond Vale academy
Since we arrived to the Caribbean time just keeps flying. Every day, every minute here brings new surprises. When I start thinking what we have done so far I get amazed by everything we did in so little time. As we arrived Saturday late in the night, Sunday was just a day to chill on the beach and get to know the amazing surroundings of the school; forest fruit garden, chicken tractor, organic vegetable garden, horses, friendly pigs, and of course the lively ocean full of corals and beautiful fish that surrounds the closest beach. When we went to the beach, we took some of the exotic fruit with us that we had harvested from the fruit garden. The first thing I did was to jump from a cliff and swim around with diving glasses. I can't describe this awesome experience that embraced me when I was immersed in the light blue water full of life and amazing creatures. You just need to go there and witness it yourself The sun was strong and we already got burnt so the afternoon we rested, getting ready for the next day was going to be incredible tough as well. On Day Two we went to investigate the origin of this unbelievable island, the Volcano ! As I said before, it was a tough but amazing experience since that...
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Richmond Vale

“Voice, Opinion, Idea, Decision”

We all have the right to say, but it’s not everyone’s personality to voice out, especially in front of a group. The more audience there is, the higher chance we will receive critique. Therefore some people opt to keep their voice in their mind instead of saying it out loud. It often happens in social media, or a company meeting with your boss, and for me now in Richmond Vale Academy (RVA). In other words – it happens when you say something and people are actually listening. Opinion cannot be wrong, but you can disagree with me. This is what a teacher in RVA said to me. Opinion represents one’s stand, one’s interest, and one’s voice. There is no right or wrong about expressing, but only if people accept the opinion or disagree. However, we may mistakenly cover our ears when we hear a different opinion or an unpleasant opinion that will harm our interest. Don’t forget it is always good to voice these opinions than to have no one express at all and it is better with different opinions because it drives us to think from different angles. With different opinions, we start to think further and we also start to give ideas if we want to get the thing done. Sometimes solutions provide us a more efficient way, eventually. Either way, we will have...
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Richmond Vale

Tree of the Week: Breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis)

The breadfruit tree has an exceptional significance in Saint Vincent because of the peculiar story behind its introduction to the Caribbean. It began in 1787 when the English Captain William Bligh and his ship, the Bounty, set sail for Tahiti in the South Pacific. Their mission was to collect breadfruit which England hoped would be a successful crop for feeding slaves. Shortly after departing from Tahiti, Bounty’s crew mutinied. The reason for the mutiny is merely speculated. Many believe that during their five months in Tahiti the crew fell in love with the Tahitian women and the easy island life and did not want to return to the rigors of seamanship. Another story is that the crew was angered at Bligh because he was using their drinking water to keep the breadfruit trees alive on the voyage. Bligh then set out on a second breadfruit voyage in 1791. The fruit finally made it to the Caribbean; its first introduction taking place right here in Saint Vincent. It arrived in Kingstown on January 23, 1793. The breadfruit tree has been deeply embedded in Saint Vincent culture ever since. It is sometimes referred to as a Caribbean “super food” and is even included in the country’s national dish: breadfruit and jackfish. The most popular way to prepare the breadfruit is to roast it over an open fire or...
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Richmond Vale

Tree of the Week: Mango (Mangifera indica)

  [caption id="attachment_7144" align="alignleft" width="300"] Juicy, sweet and yummy Mango! Juicy, sweet, yummy! Mango is a treat to people all over the world and Vincentians are no different. One good friend to Richmond Vale Academy (RVA) told us about how, when he was a boy, he and his friends would get out of school and race down to the nearest mango tree to collect the good fruit before it was gone. When it is in season here in Saint Vincent (SVG), one is hard-pressed to find a fruit that is more popular than the mango. The mango tree is a member of the Evergreen family. Then, it can grow to be up to 90 feet tall. Its leaves are about 12-16 inches in length when they are mature and are leathery, glossy and dark green in color. The fruit has a smooth, tough outside layer and fleshy, juicy inside layer that is very sweet. It can vary in size, shape and flavor depending on the variety and weighs anywhere between ¼ of a pound and 3 pounds. The fruit tree was introduced to the Caribbean in the late 1600s from the India-Burma region of the world. In the earlier days of mango cultivation in Saint Vincent. Much of the land near the sea was occupied by British estates and plantations. It was common for people to go...
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